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Charles D’Ambrosio

is the author of two books of fiction, The Point and Other Stories and The Dead Fish Museum and the essay collections Orphans and Loitering: New & Collected Essays.

 

Master Class

Charles D’Ambrosio

Online

Saturday, March 5, 2022

This class has already happened.


The Supposed Self

When I state myself, as the Representative of the Verseit does not meanmebut a supposed person. —Emily Dickinson

Never to be yourself and yet always—that is the problem. —Virginia Woolf

It’s been said that the law of the innermost form of the personal essay is heresy, and if that’s true, if the form itself is heretical, if it resists orthodoxy, then what can I say as a teacher that doesn’t involve burning witches? Let’s don’t do that; instead, let’s be witches together. In this class we’ll create a kind of essayistic space and do all our discovering together, exploring one of the form’s central mysteries.

Who is the self that speaks in a personal essay? In many of the essays I love, there often seems to be a self who undergoes the original experience, and another self, a supposed and supposing self, who returns to write about it. And they’re not exactly the same, I don’t think. We’ll explore the connection between those two selves, the person and the persona, and try to complicate it. We’ll look coldly at the self as a compositional resource, something to construct with care. How do we get beyond the poor ragged self with its meager bundle of biographical facts? How much self is too much, when is it intruding on the situation? How do we handle the “I”—that slender and sly pronoun—and the wide shadow it casts?

Most of the time I think of the self as a snare and I don’t like being trapped in it. I try to reach out beyond my pittance of experience and connect to the world and for that I need a self that’s me and yet not quite. How does that even work? We’ll talk about masks and muses, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, comedy and poetry, all the while digging down into the theater of the self, or selves, that whole quarrelsome and unresolvable drama at the center of our being. Participants will receive a packet of essays in which a central theme will be the self at risk. And we’ll make our merry way with a mix of brief lectures, close reading, and lively discussion.

Course Schedule
Saturday, March 5, 2022
3:00–5:00 p.m. ET
1 session
Online on Zoom

Where are the classes and workshops located?

Currently, all Academy classes and workshops are held online on Zoom.


I registered but didn't receive a link. What do I do?

You will receive an email from .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) one week prior to the start date of the class with materials and a link to join the meeting. Please contact Megan Cummins if you don't receive this email.


Can I receive a recording of a past or upcoming workshop or class?

No. The only way to attend a workshop or Master Class is live.


Are scholarships available?

Scholarships are available for all Master Classes. We don't currently offer scholarships for workshops. To apply, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with the subject “Master Class Scholarship Application” and include 1) a short statement outlining your interest in this class, and how a scholarship would benefit you as a writer or a reader; and 2) a short bio. Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis.


Is closed captioning available?

Yes. Otter.ai live notes are available for all Master Classes, and on a case-by-case basis for workshops. (If you are signed up for a workshop, please discuss closed captioning with your instructor.) To view the notes, look for the red LIVE dropdown menu in the top left of your Zoom screen and select View Stream on Otter.ai.


The Master Class or workshop I want to join is sold out. Is there a waitlist?

Yes. Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to be added to the waitlist for an upcoming Master Class or workshop.


I signed up for a class but can't make it. Can I be refunded?

We can offer full refunds if you cancel two weeks prior to the start date of the class. After that, before the start date of the class, we can offer a 50% refund. We cannot refund day-of cancellations, and we cannot refund or partially refund tuition once the class has begun. Please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to cancel your registration.


But I signed up for a class after the cut-off point for a full refund had passed. Can I still be eligible for a full refund?

No. Please be aware of our cancellation policy upon registration.


I'd like to transfer my registration to someone else. Is this possible?

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Cancellation Policy

If you need to cancel your enrollment in an Academy class, please let us know as soon as possible. We can only offer full refunds if you cancel two weeks prior to the start of class. After that, before the start date of class, we can offer a 50% refund. We cannot refund day-of cancellations, and we cannot refund or partially refund tuition once the class has begun.


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